Antelope Intros: Laikyn Ring and Makalie Zdenek
Antelope Intros is a recurring GCU Today feature that introduces some of our new employees to the people around them in a way that is fun and informative. Employees are eligible to be featured in the month following their orientation.
Job title: Talent Acquisition Coordinator
Job location: 27th Avenue, Building 71
What attracted you to GCU? I am a recent grad, and I chose to attend GCU because I made the GCU Dance Team and I thought it was a great fit for me. I loved it so much that I wanted to stay and continue my education while working full-time. I love the school spirit and how friendly everyone is.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? I love to spend time with family, friends and my dogs. I also love to travel.
What are you passionate about? I have been a dancer since I was 5 years old, so I would definitely say I am most passionate about dance.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? My favorite thing to do is attend country concerts, and I enjoy going to fun food places such as Joyride, True Food and Flower Child.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I am a citizen of the United States and Canada. My dad was born in Canada and wanted my siblings and me to have dual citizenship. I love to visit British Columbia, specifically a town called Penticton.
What are you most proud of? Graduating with honors in three years and being an alumna of the university that I work for. Lopes Up!
Job title: Student Services Counselor
Job location: Main campus, Cypress Hall
What attracted you to GCU? I’m an alumna, but I first came as a student from Montana. During my first visit to campus, I was mesmerized by the glowing palm trees on the Promenade and was moved by the generous and loving heart of GCU. Walking on campus, I felt as if I belonged and I knew in my spirit that this place was going to play a huge role of significance and opportunity in my life. GCU has proved, and continues to prove, to be just that.
What do you do for fun and where do you find that outlet? Rollerblading at Tempe Town Lake and hiking anywhere and everywhere.
What are you passionate about? Helping others believe that they are fully known and wholly loved by God. I’m a huge advocate for self-awareness and self-development, and I believe that in order to truly know ourselves, we first have to know who made us. When we can bravely wade into the discomfort of our own questions and insecurities, we can find the liberating beauty of uniqueness and purpose.
What are your favorite places or events in the Valley that you like to visit? Piestewa Peak for hiking, Two Hippies Beach House for tacos, Lola’s Coffee and The Duce for games and dancing.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know: I have a twin brother named Michael.
What are you most proud of? I did a 21-day backpacking trip in Death Valley National Park, and not only did I survive, I actually loved it! The trip was part of a program called “Journey” based out of Camp Bighorn in Plains, Mont. I was a staff member for the program and oversaw/mentored nine college-age students throughout their program year. The students rotated in pairs leading routes, finding water sources, finding places to make camp for the night, teaching outdoor survival lessons and leading Bible studies for the group. Ironically, staying cool wasn’t as much an issue as staying warm was! We encountered a decent amount of snow and almost caught hypothermia at one point after a downpour of frigid rain. There is so much I learned about myself and about the Lord through that trip. We are so much more capable than we believe, and God is so much closer and actively present than we perceive.